Development of an up and coming AFL player





Rob Jackson (St Kilda FC Strength & Conditioning coach) and Ben Griffen (Exercise Physiologist) speak in the above clipss about how training between a seasoned pro vs a first year player compares.

Rob mentions that most young players that first come to the club need to bulk up a fair bit and are put on a high calorie, high carbohydrate diet combined with high volume training to increase muscle mass and that their exercise technique often needs work with higher repetitions before progressing to heavier weights and lower repetitions.

Ben similarly says that the majority of young players are a long way behind the eight ball with regards to strength development and the earlier they can get started the better it will serve them in their football career.

Recent draftees like Dustin Martin, Michael Hurley, David Swallow, Daniel Rich and Jack Darling, clearly attest to the benefits having well developed strength levels have on a young players ability to have a smooth transition from junior football to AFL.

The takeaway point is if you are an up and coming young footballer with aspirations for the highest level the earlier you can get started on strength development the better. Weightlifting stunting growth is a myth - I would always recommend bodyweight mastery (push-up variations, lunges, single leg squats, chin/pull-ups etc.) before adding external resistance, as it develops strong foundations in core musclature, and technique should always overrule ego when training with weights.

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